The Consumer Category
We bring you the chic and unique, the best and most bizarre shopping offers both online and offline. We offer you tips on where to buy, and some of the less mainstream and crazy, individual and offbeat items on the internet. Anything that can be bought and sold can be featured here. And we love showcasing the best and worst art and design.
“WHERE is the Close Up effect? I’ve been waiting for it for over seven years,” says Anthony Olatunfe. He’s using Unilever Nigeria Limited for failing to live up to the promise that brushing with Close Up toothpaste makes you irresistible to women.
AT the foot of the Shimao Skyscrapers in China’s Wuxi City, a fake shopping district has popped up featuring storefronts marked with signs that knock-off major international brands like Starbucks (now “SFFCCCKS”), H&M (now “H&N”), and Apple (now “Appla”).
Hug China reports that there are no actual stores behind the signs, that local real estate professionals have created these phony, but familiar, brands to make the property more appealing to potential buyers.
“Dogs love Possum”
In New Zealand, there is a big problem with an ever-growing population of small, cat-sized critters, the non-native possum. Now considered the island country’s public enemy #1, the beady-eyed brushtail possum was introduced in 1837 to New Zealand from Australia as a way to establish a fur trade. Prior to this, New Zealand had evolved without such mammals for many millions of years. Not only are these marsupials dangerous predators to the South Pacific nation’s defensiveless indigenous species, they have also dramatically impacted its delicate ecosystem by multiplying into the millions and eating literally tons of the country’s vegetation each night. On top of all that, they are often carriers of the contagious disease, bovine tuberculosis.
LETTER of the day: why did you read the Financial Times:
THERE have been thousands of boxed games (board games and their ilk) published over the years. For your convenience, we’ve pulled together twenty of the most peculiar (in no particular order). Don’t say you weren’t warned.
1. GAY MONOPOLY (1983)
Alas, “The Parker Sisters” company was sued by Parker Brothers, and is subsequently with us no more. Thankfully, copies of their games still remain, including this gay themed Monopoly game featuring such real estate options as Castro Street and bath houses. In the place of the familiar boot and iron is a stiletto heel and blow-dryer. Naturally, there are $3.00 bills.
FAT is bad. The top-down message is consistent. The Mail leads with news that Obesity is “worse than we first feared”.
Whose afraid of a fat planet? As the BBC reported this year: “Obesity quadruples to nearly one billion in developing world.” In the report “Implications for agriculture and food prices”, Sharada Keats and Steve Wiggins, note:
Over one third of all adults across the world – 1.46 billion people – are obese or overweight.
IN 1933, German students planned to burn “Un-German” books. Helen Keller wrote this open letter to the students:
“History has taught you nothing if you think you can kill ideas…”
ENID Blyton didn’t just write for children. She wrote this Famous Five pot-boiler about four felons and a devil dog:
CHERYL Cole has ago but role of “nation’s sweetheart”. But now thank to Max Clifford Solution, you can hark back to those halcyon days of Princess Diana and Jade Goody in “Together Forever” – features “two Princesses from opposite side of the track, joined forever in happiness in the hereafter.
“From the authentic matchplay-grade table tennis table, to the bats backed with genuine dimpled rubber, to the intricately sculpted angel wings, every details of this collectors’ heirloom figurine is designed to give you joy”
Believed to date from 1875 and one of only three buildings of Townscape Merit in Schoolhouse Lane, this building, along with no 23, was probably built as a Pub since it has an imposing pedimented top and pediments over the windows. At the front it has an extension at ground floor level to the pavement and two entrances, one of them with a double door.
My Name Is Ian And I Hate Starbucks
JERRY Keever’s 1986 books Witnessing Made Easy: How to Pass Out Tracts for Jesus is a gem. This is passive aggressive preaching from 1986.
We’ve got some highlights from its 319 pages of dogmatic wonderment.
LIKE all you survivalists, we want to carry the theme of armed resistance into the boarder zones, or gardens as civilians terms them. Helping us is Shawn Thorsson and his Combat Garden Gnomes, the “finest militarized lawn ornaments in the world.”
Buy them here.
MELISSA Bridges, 23, a care home assistant from Tamworh Staffordshire, is Young Slimmer of the Year at the Rosemary Conley National Slimmer of the Year awards at the London Marriott, County Hall Hotel in London. She lost a total of 11st 3lbs.
You can now see her feet.
YEARS AGO in days of old when magic filled the air, people did their workouts at home by their turntable. Generally, the needle bounced and scratched from all the flopping around. Plus, record players were usually centrally located, which meant you had to get sweaty and embarrass yourself in front of everyone in the living room. It wasn’t until the advent of the Walkman and the proliferation of health clubs that workout music got practical. Of course, this meant the demise of the fitness LP.
Thankfully, the fossilized remains of some of these albums have been uncovered and are well worth a look.
“I HAVE no regrets at all about what I did. I feel she got what she deserved,” says Emma McDonald, of New Zealand’s Oh Cakes. “I don’t make cakes as a business. It is just a hobby and I’m taking it all with good humour.”
McDonald had created a cake for the engagement party of 24-year-old Micaela Harris. The bride-to-be’s relative had won a $50 voucher. McDonald said the winner owed her $20 from a previous deal and reduced the free token to a value of $30.
Foodie Balls: Making Mushrooms With ‘Raindrops Tapping Me On The Collarbone And Hawks Screeching On The Updraft’
HOW do you make Porcini Mushroom Soy Sauce? Well, food blogger Hunger A Thirst For Life. Who is he?
I’m a wandering weed lover, wordsmith, teacher, and worshipper at the altar of tasty treats.
Ready? Let’s forage:
I have a some rituals that keep me content during the off-season, when conditions make it nearly impossible to forage. Most days begin standing at the east window, huddled around a steaming cup of nettle tea, while the candied dawn stretches and yawns over the horizon. Next, I shuffle my woolly slippers into the pantry in search of breakfast. Part food storage area, part temple to the growing season past, its shelves are packed with tins of herbs, and jars of pickles and preserves. There is something deeply satisfying about standing in the doorway and scanning the shelves. My preserves aren’t just aesthetically pleasing, they’re a treat to the ancient part of my brain that loves knowing I can feed myself. Also, there are memories stored inside the cell walls of those plants.
Invariably, in this winter morning ritual, my eyes settle upon the rows of dried porcini. My obsession. My prize. I’m compelled to the two gallon container that houses the finest mushroom slices. The ceremony goes like this — I lift the lid, close my eyes, genuflect, and nuzzle my entire face into the jar.
The piano-wire tension connecting all things throughout the summer of ’12 as fires ravaged the mountainsides. The balm of honeyed relief when the rains finally came.
Raindrops tapping me on the collarbone, bootsteps swallowed by sodden moss, hawks screeching on the updraft.
Sugared soil and arrows of sunlight bolting through canopies of Englemann spruce. Dirty fingernails and my favorite knife.
Suspense, seduction, Mother Nature’s slight of hand. Mushrooms.
I season my meals with remembrances.
Take one mushroom and one bottle of soy sauce…
FLASHBACK to Weekend February 4th 1964. All the cool cats were chewing Beatmint gum. Groovy…
Spotter: Vintage Scans
THE NEW YEAR has arrived. Time to once again pledge to stop eating like a starved cow and get going on a weight loss program. Catalogs and magazines in decades past were full of wonderfully terrible options to start you on the Grand New Year’s Tradition of Fitness Plans Doomed to Failure. Let’s have a look at a few.
ON Amazon, some Kleenex are for sale. A mum of three adolescents reviews their worth:
I want to start this off by thanking Kleenex for selling these in 36-packs. I’ve put it on subscription, and if they want to start selling a 72-pack, sign me up. I have three reasons for needing this much Kleenex, and their names are Liam, Samuel and Hank.
NEWS is that your packet of Wal-Mart donkey meat contains other meats. The Five Spice donkey meat sold in Wal-Mart’s China stores has been found by the Shandong Food and Drug Administration to contain fox.
BARBECUE Advert of The Year: The Enchanted burner:
THEY’RE whining about how train fares are going up again: and as usual, they’re managing to get entirely the wrong end of the stick. Here’s their complaint about fares:
Rail fares are rising so quickly that the government will soon be making a profit from the commuting public, campaigners claimed as the new year ushered in higher annual season ticket prices.
According to a report from the consultants Credo, for the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT), by 2018 the fares collected from passengers will cover 103% of railways’ operating costs, compared with 80% in 2009.
There is a very slight problem with this analysis: operating profits are not profits. Operating profits are the costs of goods sold minus the costs of goods purchased. If you thought about Sainsbury’s for example, then it would be the cost of everything they sell minus the costs of buying the things that they sell. And the perceptive will note that those aren’t all the costs of running a supermarket. It’s necessary, for example, to have buildings in which to operate the supermarkets. Vans and trucks to move the stuff around. To pay for advertising to get people to come in and buy the stuff.